09 Nov How to Stay Excited and Thrive at Your Current Job
A generation ago, it was normal to get a job right out of high school or college and stick with it until you retired. That’s no longer the case: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years the average worker stays at one job is 4.6 years. But if you are someone who has worked in the same position — or the same career — for a number of years, it can take some ingenuity, inspiration, and creative spark to stay excited and energized. This may be a big factor in the recent Great Resignation, but there’s no need to feel pressured or left out to switch jobs… Here are some strategies to stay fulfilled in your long-term jobs or careers, and how you can find the same sense of gratification in the workplace.
Clearly communicate your goals and potential
There are times when we feel that our potential isn’t being used within our position. Make a point to establish healthy communication between you and your manager. Once you feel more comfortable, you won’t be afraid to communicate if – for example – you want to work on new projects or lead new teams. Take breaks to write down your current and long-term goals so that whenever you start feeling discouraged, you’ll have a physical reminder of where you were heading and a way to check if you are on the right track.
Step outside of your comfort zone
If you’ve been working in the same role for some years, you may find that trying new things outside of your work keeps you excited about your job. Taking up – for example – a dance or art class every once in a while, and I signed up for an African drumming class a few weeks ago, can expose you to something new and sometimes very foreign, which can push you out of your comfort in a healthy way. Trying new things will keep you excited about your job by creating new ways of thinking.
Build new connections
“What keeps me interested in my job is the connections that I am able to establish when I meet new people. It’s like having a mini work family, which I look forward to engaging with everyday. Thanks to all the newness and learning attached to these interactions, my professional life is dynamic and fun.”—Aakriti Agarwal, coach, facilitator, and image consultant, Hyderabad, India
Befriend your co-workers
The relationships you can build with co-workers can help you feel appreciated and satisfied in your job. Even with different teams, friendships can be diverse, and develop based on unique interests, as friendships arise, the quality of work is also elevated.
Learn new skills
Stay excited and fulfilled in your long-term job by continuously learning new skills and proactively seeking new experiences through, for example, secondments and involvement in projects. New interests and work challenges can result in new skills, connections with new people and colleagues, and expansion of your knowledge. In turn, these skills and knowledge acquired can help you get into a different, unrelated role later on and potentially even open up a new career avenue. It’s important for any job, no matter how long you’ve been in it, to avoid ‘going stale’ by constantly learning new things, no matter how small. Small things eventually build into bigger skill sets.
Practice mindfulness and reflection
Create daily excitement about your work by using work as a mindfulness practice; bring your full presence and self-reflection to each person who sits across from you and the roles at hand. Try to diversify your work into harmonious yet diverse sub jobs and continue to learn how to develop awareness to create a great environment (internally and externally).
Over to you: What helps you stay motivated and fulfilled at your job? Share your thoughts via firstname.lastname@example.org.